Thursday, July 13, 2017

Election security and its opponents

Richard Clarke and Robert Knake have a straightforward and practical recommendation about vote security (The Russians Will Be Back. Will We Be Ready? Politico 0713/2017:

A central requirement of any attempt to protect the voting system must be that states evolve past the first generation of electronic voting machines and voter database systems to newer, defensible ones that were built with modern cybersecurity in mind. Even then, it’s imperative we have certain fail-safe measures—especially a paper trail of all votes, so that voters can be sure their ballots were counted correctly and the entire system can be audited and tallied by human beings.
What they don't describe is the single biggest political roadblock to this. Systems and procedures that would prevent election fraud would also have to focus on securing the voter rolls before the elections and preventing irregular alterations of them.

But the Republican Party nationwide is completely committed to segregationist voter suppression, i.e., minimizing the number of black and Latino citizens registered to vote. Securing election systems and voter rolls would frustrate much of this activity, though not all of it. The Republicans will fight tooth and nail against it.

The Republicans in Congress and the White House also don't display a lot of obvious concern about whether Russia wants to meddle illegally in American elections.

I'm in favor of critical restraint on the claims people make about the Trump-Russia scandal and the labels they attach to it. (Carlton F.W. Larson, Sorry, Donald Trump Jr. is not a traitor Washington Post 07/11/2017)

But it's also painfully obvious that the Republicans would mostly just prefer to see Trump-Russia scandal investigation to just dissolve into smoke.

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